Pakistan allocates Rs155-160 billion matching fund for CPEC projects

At a time when Pakistan and China are going to sign $8 billion Mainline (ML-1) rail up-gradation network during the ongoing visit of PM Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan has earmarked Rs155-160 billion as matching financing for executing development projects of energy and infrastructure sectors in the upcoming budget 2017-18 under the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

all through the ongoing visit of PM Nawaz Sharif to China for attending the one Belt One road (OBOR) conference, bothsides are expected to sign the long time Plan (LTP- 2015-2030) and finalising grants component for Gwadar development, along with construction of Gwadar airport. some positive outcome is also expected on hydropower era, along with Diamer-Bhasha Dam during the go to of PM to China. The government is also set to allocate funding for the Bhasha Dam in the next PSDP for 2017-18.

After signing of ML-1 to upgrade the Pakistan Railways’ network at estimated cost of $8.5 billion, the total cost of much-hyped CPEC funded projects will go up from $46 billion to $54.5 billion. Under the initiative OBOR, China is financing 900 projects in different parts of the world out of which 54 projects are under implementation in Pakistan.

During the ongoing visit of the premier, the number of projects under LTP 2015 to 2030 and other Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) could go up to 90 projects as talks would be held between both sides for inclusion of 36 more projects under CPEC over the next few years.

However, out of total proposed funding of Rs700 billion federal outlay for Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for executing projects of ministries/divisions and attached departments, more than one/fourth funding to the tune of Rs155-160 billion would be utilised for this major initiative in consecutive third year since inception of CPEC. “Pakistan is going to utilise over $1.5 billion as matching money to accomplish CPEC projects,” official sources confirmed to The News here on Friday.

In the outgoing financial year 2016-17, the government had allocated Rs130 billion on eve of last budget. Now the indicated upwards allocation of just Rs25 to 30 billion funding would be made for the upcoming financial year for catering the requirement of CPEC which is being labeled as game changer by the ruling elites and policy makers here in this country.

For providing foolproof security to Chinese workers, the government is all set to allocate Rs15 billion for security related projects being executed by Interior Division during the coming budget.

“Out of allocated amount of Rs155-160 billion for CPEC projects, one percent will be earmarked for security purposes so Rs1.5 to Rs1.6 billion will also be utilised for security purposes for CPEC projects in the coming financial year,” top official sources confirmed to The News here on Friday.

Total allocated amount for CPEC projects including energy, infrastructure and security would be standing around Rs 170-175 billion during the next financial year 2017-18.

The government has proposed 50 percent funding to the tune of Rs350 billion for road and power sector projects for the upcoming budget 2017-18 out of total earmarked funding of Rs700 billion for the PSDP. In road and power sector, major chunk of funding is going to be utilised for CPEC projects in the next financial year.

The CPEC projects will enter into their third year of implementation during 2017-18 as early harvest projects under energy cooperation will be completed in the coming financial year. It will help Pakistan to produce 5000MW electricity and reducing outages in the country.

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